The 8th (Service) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment was formed at Preston around a cadre of experienced soldiers in September 1914.
The battalion was soon attached to the 25th Division, part of Kitchenerís Third Army, which was forming around Codford, close to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. The men were recruited from all over Lancashire, with small contingents from other parts of the UK.
In November 1914, the 25th Division decamped from Wiltshire for
placement in billets with the people of Bournemouth. Here they remained until the beginning of April 1915 when the battalion moved to Windmill Hill, Ludgershall, Wiltshire in preparation for training on Salisbury Plain.
At the end of July 1915, the men boarded trains for Folkestone and as midnight sounded in Boulogne the 8th East Lancs disembarked in France with a total strength of approximately 900 soldiers. They were now part of 112th Brigade, 37th Division, under the command of Major-General Count Gleichen.